Roadshow Films has acquired two of the hottest titles at the Cannes Film Market: Selfless, a US thriller in the vein of Limitless and Looper, and crime drama Black Mass.

Ryan Reynolds is set to star in Selfless, the saga of a wealthy old guy who is dying from cancer when he undergoes a radical operation that transfers his consciousness to the body of a healthy young man. But his seemingly re-born life goes awry when he delves into the mystery of the body’s origins and encounters a secret organisation that will kill to keep its secrets.

The script by Alex and David Pastor made the 2011 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays, and director Tarsem (Mirror Mirror, Immortals) is aboard.

Black Mass is based on the true story of Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger and his close relationship with disgraced FBI agent John Connolly. Johnny Depp was in the frame to play Bulger but reports the actor has backed out because the producers were unwilling to meet his asking price of about $US23 million.

Deadline said the lead role will be recast. Joel Edgerton is confirmed to play Connolly and Barry Levinson will direct. Connolly was charged with tipping off his childhood friend Bulger when the feds were coming for him, prompting the crim to vanish for many years.

Roadshow declined to comment on the terms of its deal for Black Mass but distributors usually have the right to approve any change in the casting of lead actors.

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